Purpose of review
The importance of self-determination
to wellbeing and life satisfaction has been established by research in motivation and education. The present review provides a synthesis of research in these areas at a time when the two lines of research are converging.
Research has established that youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
(IDD) are not as self-determined as their nondisabled peers and that this negatively impacts the quality of their lives. Further, research has established the positive benefits of a focus on self-determination
assessment and intervention for people with IDD. Recent studies illustrate the shifting focus to a life-course development perspective of self-determination
and the alignment of assessment and interventions with that perspective. Research on self-determination
and IDD outside of the United States has dramatically increased.
Research shows that people with IDD who are more self-determined achieve more positive school and adult outcomes and higher life satisfaction. Assessment of and interventions to promote self-determination
have increasingly emphasized all people and are aligning with research in motivation and positive psychology. This provides a foundation for promoting greater community, school, and work inclusion.